Heart centred teaching requires us to add something extra, to put an intentional ‘spin’ on the more mundane, auto-pilot aspects of our teaching role.
Teaching from the heart needs to be about WHO we are, not simply about what we do.
We can take the standard practices, and transform them into something more inspiring with some simple tweaks in perspective and infusions of ‘heart’.
Out with the ‘to do list’
Let’s take the common ‘to do list’, as an example. In its usual form, this sets out what needs to be achieved, in the hopes that we will follow through, and find satisfaction in crossing the items off. Useful perhaps, but not particularly inspiring, and certainly not befitting of how we see teaching – as an art form, a relational masterpiece, not a series of steps to take.
Instead, let’s come from the heart. Rather than prioritising our tasks to ‘do’, imagine if we prioritised our values and created a ‘to be list’ instead? Motivated by who we are aiming to be, our actions can spring more naturally and in line with our overall teaching and relating style.
Our ‘progress’ becomes less about ‘checking off’ a list and more about ‘checking in’.
We know in our hearts if how we are in our role is in sync with what we are striving for.
In with the ‘to be’ list
If above all else, we want to BE a kind teacher, we add this to the top of our to be list. Written down it serves as a reminder, a commitment, and an anchor to measure ourselves against.
To be kind means we will be speaking with kindness, showing empathy, being thoughtful in our responses and really listening from our hearts. Aren’t those actions more valuable than a series of say this, do that, finish this tasks that a regular to do list holds?
For the procrastinators amongst us, to do lists may seem like an answer, but they don’t speak to our hearts about why meeting deadlines and following through is important. However, if our ‘to be list’ states we want to be someone who is true to their word, this approach has the power to truly inspire us to change, to be more reliable, and be proud of our growth.
A ‘to be list’ removes the barriers between our teacher selves and our ‘other’ selves, as these should be one and the same.
If we choose to be a responsive teacher, we must also be responsive in our everyday life. If being authentic and true to ourself tops our to be list, it is not a working hours trait, but about us as a person. To be a heart centred teacher is to be a heart centred person!